CNET Smart Home
Kohler adds connectivity to the bathroomKohler's new line of connected bathroom fixtures brings Alexa into the bathroom like never before.
I'm Molly Price and we're here in Kohler, Wisconsin at the Kohler's Smart Home Experience Lab, where this 144 year old company is looking toward the future of the connected background. We visited Kohler's brand new smart home experience lab in Kohler, Wisconsin, to see what the bathroom fixture manufacturer is envisioning For the smart home. We built this lab to give our teams flexibility. So we have large spaces where we can build different environments, complete backrooms that are plumbed, have power, have wifi, allow us to test our ideas around User experiences in a smart home. Kohler's line of smart products is centered around a new version of Kohler's Verdara lighted mirror. With built-in Amazon Alexa technology for voice commands of nearly every fixture in your bathroom. Control Kohler's perfect fill bathtub with Alexa, or the new Kohler Konnect app for automated water temperature and fill level. The same goes for Kohler's line of DTV showers. With voice control and the Kohler Konnect app, you can save presets and ask Alexa to start your preferred shower. Smart technology doesn't stop there. Kohler's smartest toilet, the Numi, is getting the Kohler Konnect treatment as well, with the addition of app and Alexa voice controls. And yes, you can ask Alexa to flush the toilet. In the kitchen, Sensei, a touchless motion control faucet is being smarted with Alexa commands for specific water temperature and volume dispensing. An internet-connected bathroom might seem counter-intuitive to people who view the bathroom space as a place to get away from it all And Kohler is well aware of that. All of the products Kohler is connecting this year will also have resident manual controls. For technology in the bathroom, we want to be able to give people the options to engage in technology but But there's a dichotomy there. We also want to make sure that they can get away from the technology, because we understand that this is a place for respite and relaxation. Collier's venture into the smart home is a big step for a company with decades of traditional manufacturing under its belt. CEO David Collier enthusiastically backs the expansion into smart home technology, citing the ability to enrich everyday life. The key question when. When I'm looking at anything is what is this? Is it meaningful? What does it really do to enhance the user experience and we don't wanna do technology for the sake of novelty. So I think because of the [MUSIC] Intimacy of the bathroom space. You wanna be careful, and you wanna preserve privacy. But at the same time, it can be an area where you can enjoy a lot more convenience, as well, because it is a really important room to people. Connected bathroom technology is relatively new territory in the smart home market. So we'll see how much tech consumers really want in the bathroom when Kohler launches. Watch us later this year. [MUSIC] [BLANK_AUDIO]